Passive income is a term that is thrown around a lot in the online business world. So much so that many people seem to think of it as a bit of a scam, or something that isn’t a real thing.
But actually, passive income can just be thought of as money that continues to come in…. even when you are not working and doesn’t take too much effort to maintain.
In a business sense – it may be a situation where you put in a limited amount of work yourself, but continue to get paid for it long into the future.
Passive income generally takes quite a lot of work on the front end, to get moving. But once you do get that ball rolling, it can be one of the best was to make an income in the long term.
An example of passive income would be via royalties… For example; an author may write a book once but still continue to generate book royalties on a daily basis.
There are several ways that you can create a passive income stream online. One of the most popular & successful ways is through selling online courses.
While you may update your course over time, a majority of the work is going to be on the front end.
You spend the time and effort creating your course – but then you can sell that course multiple times over to potentially thousands of people and continue to earn an income from it over time.
Gather up what you know and put it online for people to pay for. Your expertise shouldn’t go to waste.
What Is The Most Valuable Aspect Of Your Job?
What’s the most valuable aspect of your job? The answer isn’t as obvious as you may think.
There’s the time you spend with people. The relationships you build. The responsibilities you assume. The multitude of different skills you learn over time.
The point is that there may be many valuable skills that you gain from your day job, that you didn’t realise could also be valuable to for others to learn.
That may not necessarily be the skill you was hired for specifically, but something related. Such as leadership skills or confidence building in the workplace.
What Skills Do You Have – That Can Help Others?
Are there any skills you’re particularly good at or that your employer values?
Are there any particular areas of expertise that could be useful or interesting to others? Taking this step even further, think about ways in which your skills that could be beneficial for others to learn.
For example, an experienced team leader can often provide valuable insight and creative solutions to problems others face.
Make Learning Compelling & Entertaining:
Before you get to to course creating stage – think about how you can create magnetic and compelling learning outcomes for your students, so that students take responsibility for their learning and remember it.
In other words, create a situation where students are motivated, engage, learn, practice and succeed. In order for students to learn, they need to see the value in what they are learning.
This can be done with storytelling (telling a story), pictures (images that interest the learners), exercises (using tools), games (active learning), activities (playing until mastery) and even adding pop culture references which bring learning alive. Having awesome teachers enhances learning and retention.
Get A Clear Vision For Your Course:
There are many questions you’re going to need to ask yourself before you embark on your course creation. For example….
- What do you want them to ultimately take away from your skills? (What will the outcome be for them, what will they gain?).
- How long will your course be and will you drip feed it – or give it all at once?
- Who is your ideal customer base – who will you be helping most with your course?
- What will the testing process be like? If any?
- Will your students have individual tasks to achieve regularly?
And so on!
In addition, when designing your course is good to get a clear idea of the scope of work you want to do.
Firstly, you can do a preliminary scope review with a teacher or mentor. This is a very good way of getting a feel for what the course is going to consist of as well as helping both you and your teacher understand where any rough edges might be coming from.
Knowing exactly what you want this course to achieve – will help you stay focused and confident when it comes to the creation stage.
If You Can – Leverage YouTube!
YouTube has over a billion views per day. This means that there are hundreds of videos uploaded each day with unique insights and unique content on different topics.
Some people find the content on these channels useful for health or business. Others find it inspiring and educational. You may also just be one of those people who find value in the knowledge that’s being shared online.
Many people use YouTube to grow an audience in their niche, prior to launching their course.
This is a great strategy, as you can create an engaged audience that is already interested in what you have to say and will be more willing to purchase a course that you create.
Once you have a good amount of followers on YouTube, you will already have buyers when you launch your course but you can also use it to drive traffic and sales once your course is live.
Also, don’t forget that you can also earn money from YouTube in other ways too… Such as in Ad revenue and affiliate marketing.
Determine The Most Engaging And Effective Delivery Methods For Each Lesson:
The delivery method you choose impacts how students will respond to the lessons. It could be a good idea to use captions and animations within your videos.
This will help your students to better understand what is being said and it will keep them engaged more deeply in the experience.
Also, use images as text on your slides, or use slides that are fully in color or black and white with pictures in the margins to highlight key points.
Will you have videos, reading content, activities, audio content?
What type of visuals/graphics will you have?
You may a balance of different media and techniques in order to keep your students interested and engaged.
Pricing Your Course?
Pricing is critical – helps you get the most bang for your buck, but there are many components to consider. Including what price point is best for your own audience.
You also need to factor in the price of the tools or platforms you use and any other expenses you may factor in. For example; will you need an editor? Will you need someone to do voice over work, create graphics or animations?
All these additional aspects are going to need to be factored into the overall cost of the course and what price point you eventually settle on.
There is no right or wrong or even guideline price for an online course, as it depends very much on what it is that you are delivering and other variables. Including what your audience typically expect to pay for a course like yours.
As a starting point, my recommendation is to analyze and benchmark your idea against competing products within the marketplace – have a look at what your competitors are charging and what for, then find out how yours can be different and better.
When you’ve made yours better and more in depth, then price yours slightly higher. If you’re planning on creating more of a simplified course to your competitors, possibly price slightly lower at first.
Never simply price your course lower automatically and think it will give you a competitive advantage – because that could just end up looking like a poorer quality product to your prospective buyers.
Some Online Course Options: Udemy, Podia or Teachable?
Let’s check out a few different platforms that you can create your course on! All being incredibly simple to get started on – but with their unique differences and price points.
What is Udemy?
Udemy offers the largest collection of online courses, with 100,000+ available across dozens of categories, including:
- Personal Development
- Health & Fitness
You can create courses easily on a huge number of topics. You can do so very easily and immediately have access to Udemys MILLIONS of users.
Udemy Pros Vs Cons:
- Easy to use all-in one platform.
- built in audience of millions.
- Udemy wants you to succeed – you can rely on them to promote your course and make it visible on the platform.
- Good for those who aren’t great at doing their own marketing/or don’t have an audience.
- Free to create your courses initially, (but they do take a large chunk out of your commissions!
- You make most of your sales during their discount deals and you won’t make much.
- They take a large percentage of commission per sale.
- Limited communication with customers and you can’t get them on your email list in order to market to them later.
- Udemy has a 30 day money back guarantee… great for the customer, not so great for you!
How Much Does Udemy Cost Course Creators?
Udemy takes a 37% commission for each course sold, if there are no coupon codes or promotions used. But the instructor will get a 97% commission when the customer orders through their own personal coupon or affiliate link.
Who Is Udemy Best for?
Udemy is probably best for newbie course creators without an audience, who don’t want to use paid traffic or other methods initially to get sales.
Also, from a technical standpoint, Udemy is straightforward. You can go from zero to getting course sales pretty quickly and will not need to drive traffic to your course, as long as it’s well targeted and there is some demand.
That said, seeing as you get a larger commission from sending customers via your own affiliate link or coupon code link – you’re still going to make more on Udemy if you have an audience or can drive traffic via some means to your courses.
What Is Podia?
Podia is an all in one solution for creating digital products, downloads, affiliate programs and more.
They have a simple and intuitive platform that is largely a drag and drop scenario. So, if you’re not technically confident when it comes to designing your course, this is going to be an attractive solution.
Podia is great for bloggers and website owners who want to grow their audience. As well as hosting all your courses, you can also use Podia to create digital downloads and even as an email marketing solution.
If you do not already have an audience, this is something you should do beforehand. So, having a blog in your niche, where to write about related topics will help with that. You can drive traffic to your blog via free methods, (such as YouTube and Pinterest) – or via paid method, such as Facebook Ads.
Podia Pros Vs Cons:
- All-in-one platform for your course needs.
- Great communication.
- Reasonable cost.
- Much higher income potential in comparison to Udemy, (if you can drive traffic!).
- Simple checkout system, which can increase conversions.
- Email marketing included.
- Ability to create digital downloads – create for lead magnets on your blog or website.
- You can drip feed content.
- You will need to send your own traffic.
- Some have said the ability to edit within the course is quite basic.
- Regarding their email marketing – you can only add to one list and it’s fairly basic.
- There could be more in the way of analytics.
How Much Does Podia Cost?
The most basic package is $39, (the mover plan). This is going to be enough for most people starting out.
You will need the higher package price, if you’re wanting to bring affiliates on board to promote your course and that’s $79 per month.
What you may want to do is start with the basic plan and then once you’re bringing in enough sales to start making a profit, upgrade to the shaker plan, ($79).
Who Is Podia Best Suited To?
Podia is going to be best suited to those people who will make the absolute best of all their features. This is likely going to be a blogger or online business owner – who already has some form of audience.
It could also be good for people who are just starting to build their audience. Since, you can get started just by creating basic digital products – start to build you email list via Podia and then create a course.
This is going to be less suited to people who do not have an audience and also have no idea of how they are going to send traffic to their courses and have no marketing strategy.
What Is Teachable?
Teachable is one of the leaders in the online course creation and often a key favourite for many bloggers that I’ve purchased courses from in the past.
Here you can host your video files, create landing pages, process payments directly and even have an inbuilt affiliate program, where you can also pay affiliates for promoting your course.
Basically, this is a good solution for those nervous about the technical aspect of creating the course – but are still able to do their own marketing, or have an audience via social media, a blog, or YouTube channel.
It’s also pretty budget friendly to get started – with a free 14 day trial and their basic plan being $29 per month.
Teachable Pros Vs Cons:
- Teachable has a great reputation and I’ve experienced first hand how their courses provide a good customer experience.
- It’s a super simple platform to learn, perfect for beginners.
- Affordable & even a very basic free plan.
- Ability to drip feed content.
- No built in user base. Like Podia, you need to be able market your course.
- 5 % transaction fee per course sold.
- Some complain about regular downtime on the platform.
How Much Does It Cost?
If you’re serious about creating courses, you will at least want the basic plan, which is $39 per month.
However, you will need the next plan up if you would like affiliates to promote you course. This plan would cost $119 per month. Like with podia, this may be something you want to do once you start generating regular sales.
Who Is It For?
Again this is a better option for people who already have an audience. While more simplified than Podia, it still comes with affiliate marketing ability built in, (at the higher level) as well as the ability to drip course content gradually.
This is going to be a good option for those people who are new to creating their courses and would like a simple solution. Those who review teachable, regularly talk about just how simple it is to create great looking, professional courses.
So, Who Is Best?
What platform you choose is really going to depend on what your needs are.
Udemy courses are free to get started, but charge you a percentage of your course costs every time. Because you make most of your profit from their massive sales, you may only get a small amount per course. The benefit of Udemy though, is they bring the traffic to you.
The downside for Teachable and Podia for newbies, is these are the best options for people who already have an audience or who are confident they can drive traffic to their courses.
That said, if you do have an audience then either Podia or Teachable are great options. As someone who is thinking of going into creating my own course, I’m personally going to go for Podia.
This is because not only do they have the ability to create courses – but they also have the added benefit of being able to create digital downloads and have email marketing already integrated. This is useful for someone like me, who is really looking for the convenience of having everything in one place.
Marketing Your Course:
How can you market your course if you don’t have an online presence? It’s a question that most students and professionals ask themselves before they decide whether to launch a business or start exploring new career options.
Although, online courses can also be a powerful tool for attracting new customers. But it’s going to be much easier to market to an audience, who already know what you’re about.
That’s why utilizing things like YouTube and Facebook can be paramount to your success. Especially if you’re going to go for options like Teachable or Podia for your course creation.
It can be good idea to have a budget for advertising before you get started. For many course creators – they turn to Facebook Ads.
But if you’re looking for a cheap solution to get started – free methods such as starting a YouTube channel, or organic Pinterest marketing, can get you those first initial sales for free and start building your audience.
Facebook Ads To Promote Your Course?
Facebook ads are a powerful tool for marketing courses.
You can use them to promote a single course, a set number of courses, or an entire network of courses.
Creating a Facebook group can also help you build a community around your work and keep people coming back for more.
Plus, Facebook can provide a great way to generate revenue from your existing fan base without writing expensive ad copy.
You don’t need to create elaborate Facebook Ads to attract customers – as long as you know who your customer base are and are highly targeted towards that niche group.
Once you have built up a related Facebook page to an engaged audience, you can continue to market your courses and products there for free as well.
Selling to an audience who has already purchased and loves your products, is going to be significantly more successful than trying to sell to a cold audience, who do not know who you are.
Therefore, building up a fan base for your brand, products and courses is going to be a good long-term strategy.
You can use Facebook Ads to not only drive traffic to your courses, but also for building a Facebook page of people who are already interested in your niche.
Creating an online course is just one of many ways to financially benefit from your own skills and experience.
There are many ways for you to earn money, both online with your particular skills. So, don’t just stop at online courses.
You could also consider things like self publishing, (Ebooks & paperback!), blogging, YouTube, Skype lessons, coaching, membership websites and more.
As far as creating your online course, there are so many options out there that you may find it overwhelming. We only mentioned Udemy, Podia and Teachable here.
But you may also consider other options such as Thinkific or Skillshare. You can even sell courses on Gumroad!
What course provider you choose is going to boil down to which provider best matches your needs right now. For example; do you need something that is technically straight forward?
Maybe price is important for you and you want to create your course for free, (without monthly ongoing costs)? What about the ability to have other influences promote your course for a commission, (via affiliate marketing?).
Take a look at a few course providers over period of time and take note of how well they match your needs. Once you have made your decision – start taking action!
So often we get stuck in analyses paralysis and don’t get even get started.
While choosing the right course provider is going to have some importance – even more important than this is CREATING that course, getting it done and then promoting it to in to an engaged audience.
Good luck on your course creation journey!
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